The sun does eventually come out again and once the clouds part the landscape is more vibrant and alive.
~ Shannon Kinney-Düh
You know the saying, when it rains it pours? Well in my case the past few weeks, when it rains it floods.
The Sunday before last, we woke up to a flooded basement. On the positive side, there were only a few inches of water and all that got ruined was the carpet. Part of our basement is the laundry room and storage and the majority of the space is refinished – it’s where the kids play, where we watch movies and where my husband’s office is. It’s one of the only areas in this house that we (my husband did all the work) fully fixed up (in the three years we’ve lived here).
The other positive is that since we’ve been on a “reduce clutter, create space” kick over the last several years, we don’t have any boxes in our storage room, the storage we do have is in plastic bins and everything is off the floor. Other than some blankets that were waiting to be washed, nothing else had to be pulled out of the water.
The carpet excavation company came that same day, ripped out the carpets, left us with fans and handled other precautions throughout the week. Everything has dried up nicely; the basement foundation is in great shape and no mold. Even the custom cabinets can stay. Woo hoo.
Playing in the basement before “the flood”.
All in all we lucked out. Or we were somewhat prepared. And I think that’s what I learned from this experience. The importance of preparation – clearing out the stuff you no longer need or like having a good insurance plan. The importance of not being attached to stuff – it’s all just stuff and in the end – it’s there for a short bit and then it goes away. The importance of having an emergency fund – because there’s still a deductible that you have to pay when things happen – and things always happen. And the importance of having a sense of humor – because sometimes if you can’t laugh about it you might as well go insane.
Some of the other things that happened during the flood: our riding mower died (had to put more money towards a new one), my husband found out some health warnings (in addition to some we found out a few months ago) and a family friend and former co-worker passed away. A lot at once.
Did I feel defeated?
Did I cry?
A time or two.
Did I drop the kids off at my mom’s one morning just so I could pick up my favorite food and go sit in a dark theater watching a movie (I LOVE going to movies alone, by the way)?
Oh, yes I did and it was awesome.
Have I felt unsettled?
Yep. All the toys that usually have a place in the basement have been all over the house – Legos on the dining room table, library books on the back porch, train set thrown across the living room floor. My husband had to move his computer to my art room table. Feeling a bit…cramped.
Do I crave order?
Am I feeling completely grateful that I have another day on this earth?
A MILLION TIMES for sure.
I have gone through a wave of emotions. And if I let my mind run crazy with “what if’s” and “how are we going to” and “why me” and “will we ever get ahead” thoughts – then I probably would let the feelings of overwhelm completely consume me.
But I can’t.
Because here’s what I’ve learned about life so far:
* Everything changes. The good times, the bad times – they come and go.
* Going with the flow and staying flexible in the midst of changes just feels better.
* Letting go of the past, being in the present moment, while preparing for the future makes the ride more enjoyable.
* Asking for help, finding support and receiving that love is just as powerful as giving.
* Laughter helps.
* Dancing helps.
* Relaxing, breathing and lightening up all help.
* Sitting alone in a dark theater watching a great movie totally helps.
* And focusing on the gratitude reminds you that even in the midst of the chaos, the storm, the floods…you have your breath, you have much to be grateful for AND there really is beauty once the storm clears.
There’s always an opportunity alongside the challenge – even if it’s hard to see it at the time. The storm will clear again.
When you are moving through the flood, don’t give up. Your life is too precious and your gifts are needed in the world.
We need you.
So get some rest when you need to. Drink more water. Eat well and nourish your soul. Ask for help and FULLY RECEIVE the goodness that others are so open and willing to give you.
And LOVE your life along the way…
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